Star Wars Fortnite Crossover Event Going on Now

A Star Wars Fortnite crossover event is now taking place in the mega-popular Battle Royale game. From now until November 17th you’ll be able to get the Imperial Stormtrooper Outfit in the Item Shop. If you buy Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order on PC in the Epic Store you’ll get the outfit for free!

An Imperial Star Destroyer has also been spotted in the sky above the Island though it isn’t clear what its mission is, besides bringing lots of Stormtrooper Outfits. The trailer for the event seems to be suggesting that there will be more. In the description for the video, it says, “The Imperial Stormtrooper has been seen scouting out the Island. What could his mission be?”

It’s really no surprise that there is a Star Wars crossover event taking place right now considering the release of the new game and the fact that we’re just a month away from The Rise of Skywalker. Whatever else is going to be happening in-game you can expect it to take place this weekend so cancel your weekend plans and keep an eye on that Star Destroyer. If you can’t make it this weekend you do have until November 30th to get the skin by buying Fallen Order in the Epic Store.

Check out the trailer for the Star Wars Fortnite crossover below.

Source: Twitter, Twitter

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Esports Isn’t Mainstream Yet, But It’s Getting Close

We’re closing the gap! Esports is finally starting to be recognized by the mainstream as more than some stereotypical teenagers binging Call of Duty in their mom’s basement all night. You know, munching Cheetos and inhaling energy drinks? Esports is starting to be seen as a real sport. While we’re not there just yet, seeing the perception of media makes one thing very clear: esports is here to stay and they’re not just “playing” around anymore.

The Fortnite World Cup Surely Was, Well… Epic

Fortnite World Cup esports

Let’s take the recent Fortnite World Cup as a solid example. Epic Games are the makers of Fortnite and the Epic Engine that runs the majority of your favorite games. They put on a real spectacle in July! During the three-day event, 19,000 fans gathered at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City to watch a bunch of kids play video games. That’s no small feat, considering the stadium and event sold out, something very mainstream.

Back in February 2019, Epic Games announced that on top of the $100 million prize pool announced back in May 2018, they were dropping another $100 million for 2019. For comparison sake, the more mainstream horse race, The Kentucky Derby, had a prize pool in 2019 that was only $2 million, while the mainstream tennis-focused Wimbledon’s entire prize pool equaled over $41 million (34 million GBP) for 2019. 

 

The New Kids On The Block

We’re not talking chump change here. In fact, 16-year-old Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf took home $3 million from his first-place solo finals finish. During the duos finals, Emil “Nyhrox” Bergquist Pedersen and David “Aqua” Wang (aged 16 and 17, respectively) split their winnings of $3 million. These three kids won the combined spoils equaling three Kentucky Derbies. 

Let’s not forget about the viewership. What makes the more traditional sports so popular is that the average everyday person can root for their team both in-person and from home. This is the part where esports has some work to do. While the Fortnite World Cup finals peaked at the impressive 2.3 million viewers across YouTube and Twitch, the 2019 Kentucky Derby had 16.34 million at its peak, according to NBC. While the 2.3 million doesn’t include “fans watching in-game and on other streaming and social media platforms,” such as Twitter, Facebook, and within Fortnite itself, there’s no way they hit the same numbers as the horse race. Let’s not even try to compare that to the 98.2 million that watched the 2019 Super Bowl.

 

Esports Isn’t Just Another Sport, It’s Better

Esports has an evolutionary edge, though. While the aforementioned horse racing and tennis sports don’t generally change at all, video games do often, and they do so really quickly. A weapon in a game could get a buff (upgrade) or a nerf (downgrade) in the very next patch, or a new map could be released, changing the entire landscape for that game. Developers tend to make updates to their games to fix bugs, errors, or to change the way one plays their game! And what of sequels?

While Epic Games has created a truly adaptable game that doesn’t need a Fortnite 2, games like Call of Duty and Madden have yearly releases, keeping players on their toes to learn new mechanics every twelve months or so for the competitive market. The professional players at the officially sanctioned Call of Duty World League jump ship the second that a new game launches for the new season, for instance. Players that want the newest roster of NFL teams are likely to grab each year’s Madden. Even the incredibly popular Blizzard title, Overwatch, that harbors the seasonal Overwatch League is allegedly flirting with the idea of a sequel.

So, where does that leave us? Esports is still volatile, but expanding near daily. Each year, esports athletes are getting younger and younger, retiring in their 20s, and making names for themselves. It’s not going to help anyone to mince words here. Esports, as a whole, has three key points that need to be addressed to really make it big with the mainstream viewership: leveling off, camera views, and product options. 

 

What Esports Needs To Do

What I mean by “leveling off” is that the average viewer doesn’t want to learn all new rules every time they turn on the TV. The constant tweaks and patches to games are surely going to confuse fans that don’t play the game. Where football has remained unchanged for decades, a new map, mode, or changes to that sniper rifle over there would change the game entirely. 

If you’re watching a game being played, you want access to the action. That’s why camera angles and views are another key point to address here. In most traditional sports, the focus is on the player holding the ball or in a single area. In a game like Fortnite, where there’s 100 players all at once, that can get trickier if there are three big fights going on in three different areas.

As mentioned before, new games come out constantly and each have their own respective athletes. There’s no way to compare this phenomenon to classic sports either. A professional Halo player may not also be a professional Call of Duty player, even though they’re both of the same “first person shooter” genre. A pro at Street Fighter might not be any good at Mortal Kombat, even if both are considered fighting games. Each game has clear lines in the sand due to different mechanics. Sure, one could say the same about traditional sports, but we’re talking hundreds of games at an unprecedented scale, not a few dozen.

 

Where Will It Lead?

Needless to say, when I call it the “mainstream viewership”, I don’t mean the Millennials and Gen Z generations that already watch these things on Twitch or YouTube. Viewers that are used to watching know how to adapt quickly and easily. I’m talking about the main media outlets and the average everyday person. While some outlets have dipped their toes, such as the Overwatch League being presented on ABC or the TBS-backed eLeague, allocation is clearly skewed still. While we have an uphill battle still to go, it’s not all bad.

blizzard esports

More and more esports stadiums and physical places to play are popping up all the time. More schools are looking into the idea of adding esports to curriculum. Professional traditional sports stars are investing in pro gaming teams, such as NBA star Rick Fox and Echo Fox. Parents are embracing the idea that their kid may not be cut out to be a Varsity football player, but they still can be an athlete with the right training and focus. 

Plus, with big money moves like what Epic Games is working through, it’s only a matter of time before esports hits that mainstream. It’ll be no time before we start seeing the finish line. Until then, esports will continue to grow.

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PUBG Has Been Banned in Jordan, Fortnite Expected to Follow

PUBG has been banned in Jordan, just one of many such bans we’ve seen against popular Battle Royale titles this year. It is also expected that Fortnite won’t be far behind. The reason for the ban, like the others we’ve seen this year are vague concerns about the negative impact of these games. According to Jordan’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, a recent study found that the game was harmful to people of all ages. The commission’s Director of Beneficiaries Affairs said that it was established to deal with complaints from citizens about the terrifying spread of menacing videogames.

It will be interesting to see if these bans stick. So far the others that have happened across Asia haven’t, but, for a short time they bring some attention to the area and spark debate about if these games are actually dangerous or not.

This of course also comes after the World Health Organization declared that video game addiction is a real health concern. A move that, as it turns out, was done in haste and possibly had some political pressure from several different countries in Asia. As the dust settles there seems to be less support for Gaming Disorder and it is possible we will see the WHO reverse their decision in favor of more research in the future.

Battle Royale games specifically seem to be getting targeted in a way that no other genre of game ever has before. This is almost certainly because of their massive popularity with pre-teens and teens. Popularity that has spread across the world and from the point of view of parents at least, is all consuming and destroying lives.

 

Source: PCGamer

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E3 2019: Fortnite Was Almost Canceled

During an interview at E3, the world learned that Fortnite was almost canceled before it ever got massively popular. The interview, conducted by Game Informer was with former Epic Games Production Lead Rod Fergusson who now works at The Coalition on Gears of War.

“If I had stayed at Epic, I would have canceled Fortnite,” Fergusson says. “Before I left, I tried to cancel Fortnite. When it was Save the World, that was a project that just had some challenges. And as a director of production at the time, that game would not have passed my bar for something we should continue to keep going.”

He also went on to say, “That game you love, the worldwide sensation, would not exist had I stayed at Epic.”

Of course, he is referring to Fortnite Save the World, the PvE mode that came before the massively popular Battle Royale mode took over the world. Back then the game wasn’t performing very well and was barely known at all. Thankfully, Epic saw the Battle Royale light and the game has become a global sensation.

What would the world and the gaming genre have looked like if Fortnite Battle Royale had never come to be? Would we all still be playing PUBG or would the shift to the next big fad have come even faster? For the record, we here at MMOGames have 4v4 being the next big gaming fad, especially after this year’s E3.

Some may say that the world would have been better off without Fortnite Battle Royale. We don’t agree with that sentiment but that’s only because we’ve seen the numbers and know that Fortnite actually helped bring in a whole new generation of gamers. Gamers who are now venturing out to find other games to play.

 

Source: Game Informer via USGamer

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Microsoft Introduces Limited Edition Fortnite Xbox One S Bundle; We Hope You Like Purple

In just a few days’ time, Microsoft will have some surprises in store for its fans with its E3 showcase. But it isn’t waiting until then to hit the ground running. It’s already announced that it’ll offer some deals throughout the week of E3, and the days leading up to it. Also coming this week is a fun little bundle for those of you that are fans of the multiplayer hit Fortnite.

Fortnite Xbox

The company will launch a special Xbox One S bundle starting on June 7, going for the price of $299. The Xbox One S Fortnite Battle Royale bundle will come with an exclusive purple colored controller and console bundle, along with a downloaded copy of the game. In addition, it’ll also have some extras to go along with it, such as a Legendary Outfit, a Rare Pickaxe, an Epic Glider and 2000 V-Bucks.

Of course, you’ll also need to get online to play with your friends. Fortunately, you’ll be able to do so, as the system will also include a month of Xbox Live Gold that can be activated right off the bat. And you can also see what other games are available through the Xbox Game Pass program, as there will be a month of that service included as well. It’s a pretty cool package deal.

Fortnite Xbox

Microsoft didn’t say how long the bundle is available for, but it’s likely to be a big hit with Fortnite fans, so it should sell out quickly. Your best bet is to preorder it whenever you can and pick it up when it goes on sale starting on the 7th. Sadly, it doesn’t look like a DJ Llama is in the package, though you can draw one on your controller if you feel the need.

As for what other bundles Microsoft could introduce over the week, those announcements could likely come this Sunday when the company hosts its official E3 press conference. We’ll bring you any breaking details as they become available!

 

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2019 BAFTA Game Awards Nominees Announced

The 2019 BAFTA Game Awards are just a few weeks away so of course, it’s time to look at the nominees for the various categories. If you aren’t familiar with the BAFTA Game Awards they are basically the Oscars for games from the UK. BAFTA also gives out awards for film and television, though those are at different award shows. The President of BAFTA is Prince William, the future King. So yes, this is an incredibly big award show, the most prestigious in the industry. To be nominated the game has to have been made in part in the UK. The games also have to be nominated, a process which many studios either don’t know about or don’t care to go through. As a result, you’ll often see the same studios nominated year after year. So, with all of that in mind, here are the nominees.

 

Elite: Dangerous Beyond Chapter 4 - Mining Changes

 

Artistic Achievement

Detroit: Become Human
Gris
God Of War
Marvel’s Spider-man
Red Dead Redemption 2
Return Of The Obra Dinn

 

Audio Achievement

Battlefield V
Detroit: Become Human
God Of War
Marvel’s Spider-man
Red Dead Redemption 2
Tetris Effect

 

Best Game

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
Celeste
God Of War
Red Dead Redemption 2
Return Of The Obra Dinn

 

British Game

11-11: Memories Retold
Forza Horizon 4
Red Dead Redemption 2
The Room: Old Sins
Overcooked 2
Two Point Hospital

 

Debut Game

Beat Saber
Cultist Simulator
Donut County
Florence
Gris
Yoku’s Island Express

 

Evolving Game

Destiny 2: Forsaken
Elite Dangerous: Beyond
Fortnite
Overwatch
Sea Of Thieves
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

 

Family

Lego Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles
Nintendo Labo
Overcooked 2
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! And Let’s Go, Eevee!
Super Mario Party
Yoku’s Island Express

 

Game Beyond Entertainment

11-11: Memories Retold
Celeste
Florence
Life Is Strange 2
My Child Lebensborn
Nintendo Labo

 

Game Design

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
Celeste
God Of War
Into The Breach
Minit
Return Of The Obra Dinn

 

Game Innovation

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
Celeste
Cultist Simulator
Moss
Nintendo Labo
Return Of The Obra Dinn

 

Mobile Game

Alto’s Odyssey
Brawl Stars
Donut County
Florence
Reigns: Game Of Thrones
The Room

 

Multiplayer

A Way Out
Battlefield V
Overcooked 2
Sea Of Thieves
Super Mario Party
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

 

Music

Celeste
Far Cry 5
Florence
God Of War
Gris
Tetris Effect

 

Narrative

Florence
Frostpunk
God Of War
Marvel’s Spider-man
Red Dead Redemption 2
Return Of The Obra Dinn

 

Original Property

Dead Cells
Florence
Into The Breach
Moss
Return Of The Obra Dinn
Subnautica

 

Performer

Christopher Judge As Kratos In God Of War
Danielle Bisutti As Freya In God Of War
Jeremy Davies As The Stranger In God Of War
Melissanthi Mahut As Kassandra Of Sparta In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Roger Clark As Arthur Morgan In Red Dead Redemption 2
Sunny Suljic As Atreus In God Of War

 

Ee Mobile Game Of The Year (Voted For By The Public)

Brawl Stars
Clash Royale
Fortnite
Old School Runescape
Pokémon Go
Roblox

 

 

Be sure to check out the BAFTA awards show broadcast online live on April 4th to find out who the winners are.

 

Source: BAFTA Official Site

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MMO Money: A Week of Lawsuits and Nintendo Being Awesome

Lawsuits abound this week in the online gaming world with both Activision Blizzard and Epic Games the focus of new lawsuits. Meanwhile, Nintendo gives us a much-needed breath of fresh air with how they treat gamers and their employees. Bidding for Nexon is set to begin in April with the list of bidders reduced to just 5. Find all of this and more in this week’s MMO Money.

 

Nexon Shortlists Five Bidders for the Company

There has been quite a lot of interest in Nexon recently from major companies around the world including Disney, EA, Comcast, Tencent, and many others. But, Nexon has now lowered that list to just 5 bidders. Those five include Tencent and Kakao Corp. along with three private equity firms, Bain Capital, MBK Partners, and an unidentified firm. Quite significantly Netmarble isn’t included in this list. Netmarble had been putting together a consortium of Korean firms to bid together, believing that selling to an overseas company will damage the local games industry. In fact, this may be why we don’t see any Western-based interests in the shortlist. Bidding for the 98.64% share of Nexon that is expected to be worth as much as $13.3 billion is expected to begin in early April.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Nintendo Asks Mobile Partners to Stop Players From Spending So Much

In a time when it seems like all game companies are after is your money Nintendo comes out and gives you a little bit of faith in the industry once more. The company is concerned with its self-image and has asked some of its mobile game development partners to adjust the microtransactions in their games so players are less likely to overspend. A source at CyberAgent, who owns the developers of Dragalia Lost told the Wall Street Journal, “Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game. If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”

This also comes less than a week after a recruitment page for Nintendo shed some light on what it’s like working for the company. The average salary is ¥9.03 million, that’s $80,000, employees can potentially get bonuses in June and December plus a pay increase every April. The average workday at Nintendo is seven hours and forty-five minutes long. As if all of that doesn’t already sound amazing full-time employees stay at the company for an average of 13.5 years. Anyone familiar with the games industry in the West will know that developers tend not to stay in one company for very long. If you’re interested in knowing more about that check out this article from Polygon.

From a personal point of view both of these pieces of news make me more likely to look at Nintendo games and support what they’re doing. Their views and the way they treat their employees is a breath of fresh air in the games industry today.

 

Source: Wall Street Journal, Games Industry

 

 

Vivendi Sells Remaining Ubisoft Shares

Ubisoft Joins Forces With Horror Movie Studio

Its been almost a year since Vivendi announced it was going to stop trying to acquire Ubisoft and finally the remaining shares it had in the company have been sold. The remaining shares it had was about 5% of the company, €429 million.

At one point in time, Vivendi owned a 27.3% stake in the company and though its attempts to own the company completely failed they did bring in about €2 billion, a capital gain of €1.2 billion. Though they failed to achieve their original goal you can hardly call the entire thing a failure. I’d love to fail my way to €2 billion, that’s about $2.2 billion USD. Vivendi has stated that they will honor their agreement and not buy shares in Ubisoft for at least 5 years.

Vivendi had previously owned Activision Blizzard but it sold the company to an investment group led by Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly for $8.2 billion. That deal pushed Vivendi out of the games industry for 3 years until it bought its way back in with a hostile takeover of Gameloft.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

A New Law firm is Encouraging Shareholders to Sue Activision Blizzard Over Bungie Split

Another law firm is inviting shareholders to join in a class action lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of misleading shareholders over the end of its partnership with Bungie. The firm’s loss submission form makes the following claims:

Activision failed to disclose that “the termination of Activision Blizzard and Bungie’s partnership… was imminent”

That this termination “would foreseeably have a significant negative impact on Activision Blizzard’s revenues.”

And as a result “Activision Blizzard’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all times.”

Activision Blizzard previously said that the split from Bungie was because Destiny 2 failed to meet financial expectations. But in a recent SEC filing, the company recognized $164 million in revenue from Destiny for 2018 as a result of the split.

This comes at a time when shareholders for Activision Blizzard aren’t too happy with the company. They’ve had to warn investors that cutting hundreds of jobs (800 in total) may damage the company. They even went so far as to say there can be “no assurance that our business will be more efficient or effective” than it was before this new strategy.

Why can’t you be more like Nintendo?

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Man Sues Epic Games Over Predatory Loot Boxes

While we’re on the topic of lawsuits we should mention that Epic Games is being sued, yet again. This time though it isn’t because they used a dance in their game, instead it’s over allegations that Epic Games has engaged in predatory schemes with loot boxes in Fortnite. They allege that Epic intentionally designed Save the World to hinder player’s progress if they didn’t spend real money. They also say that Epic has “made a fortune on in-game purchases, preying in large part on minors who are especially susceptible to such predatory tactics.” The lawsuit accuses Epic of violating California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, False Advertising Law, and Unfair Competition Law.

What the lawsuit doesn’t mention though is that since January Epic Games now shows the contents of loot llamas in Save the World before they’re purchased with V-Bucks. So it is possible that the lawsuit won’t go anywhere since they’ve already made changes to the areas that the lawsuit covers.

 

Source: Games Industry

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Battle Royale Weekly: State of the Battle Royale Genre

IHS Markit put out a pretty extensive report this week that covered a lot of topics in the mobile games industry, but a good chunk of the 13-page report was specifically about the Battle Royale genre. So, this week, instead of our usual dive into the news from the genre I want to look at what this report has to say about Battle Royale games.

Click the image to enlarge it

The report begins with two charts side by side as seen above. One is the top 10 mobile games by net revenue and the other is the top 10 by the number of downloads. Right away we can see that PUBG mobile, with 274 million downloads doesn’t make the revenue chart at all while a game like Pokemon Go which brought in $729 million isn’t in the chart for downloads at all. In fact, the only game that appears on both charts is Candy Crush Saga which lands at number 9 for downloads and number 1 for net revenue. On the other side, Fortnite makes the chart for revenue near the bottom with $390 million in revenue and isn’t anywhere to be seen on the number of downloads. Clearly, we’re seeing that having a lot of downloads doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be making all of the money. Other Battle Royale titles on the charts include Garena Free Fire…and that’s all. Quite a lot of the games on the charts are considered to be hyper-casual games. The sort that makes adult women the largest demographic of gamers in the world right now, and yes, that is true.

In another chart, focusing just on Battle Royale games, we can see revenue and downloads together in one place. Downloads for PUBG Mobile are massive thanks to China, however, the game isn’t able to monetize that audience so they’re losing out in a big way. The revenue they do have for PUBG Mobile is for the international version of the game which can be monetized, but as you can see, that doesn’t amount to much. The revenue on that chart for Fortnite, by the way, is only for iOS since Epic has quite famously decided not to use the Google Play store to release the Android version of the game. Even with just one revenue source, we can look at how Fortnite still manages to completely dominate the industry. We can only imagine what that would look like with Android thrown in on top.

The report goes on to predict that the Battle Royale genre will go in a way that is similar to what we saw with the MOBA genre. They’re predicting that there will be a few high profile failures coming in the near future because of the extreme influx of competition. This is something we here at MMOGames have also been predicting since Battle Royale fever took over the industry. They also predict that we will see the genre filled with a lot of titles that never stand a chance at being at the top, and that there will be a high turnover for these games. We’re already seeing this on Steam with indie Battle Royale titles that sometimes only get a daily concurrent player count in the dozens. This is especially difficult for the Battle Royale genre because the games require a higher number of players to get a match going than you would see with other games. So, when a player logs in and is never able to get a match going they stop logging in. This in turn makes it even more difficult to get a match going and quickly the game is considered dead.

This isn’t all bad news for the industry and once again, our old friend esports is predicted to swoop in and save the day. While esports may not be bringing in much, if any money right now for Battle Royale games, it does keep interest in the games, which keeps people playing. Epic also announced in mid-2018 that they would be providing $100 million for prize pool funding to establish Fortnite’s esports scene.

Ultimately, however, the report points out that Battle Royale is more of a game mode than a fully fledged game genre in its own right. With this in mind, they say that we will see RPGs in Asia adding Battle Royale modes to their games as they did with MOBAs. Battle Royale games are limited in their scope and really, there’s only so much you can do with a Battle Royale game. That’s one of the reasons we’re seeing a decline in Fortnite. Players are growing tired of the same old formula and doing the same old thing, and Epic hasn’t yet found a way to keep things new and exciting all of the time.

One example of a game that has done this well is Pokemon Go. On the surface, Pokemon Go doesn’t really have a whole lot to it. Catch Pokemon, visit locations out in the real world, and catch more Pokemon. However, Niantic found its footing in 2018 with a constant stream of in-game events that take place at the very least once a month, though usually more often than that thanks to real life holidays and events. The game went from declining to one of the highest earning mobile games on the market thanks to this shift. For Fortnite to continue to enjoy being top dog in the genre it needs to find its footing like Pokemon Go did and work out a way to keep players interested more consistently. Otherwise, it risks losing the interest of players while only enjoying brief moments of popularity after new content releases.

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Apex Legends Beats Fortnite Viewership Record on Twitch

If you’ve been paying any attention to the gaming world for the last week you know that Apex Legends is the hot new thing. Well, when Apex Legends beats Fortnite for single-day viewership on Twitch then you know it’s worth taking a look at. This is exactly what happened on February 12th during the Twitch Rivals event. On that day Apex Legends was watched for 8.28 million hours. This beats Fortnite’s highest record by 1.2 million! Keep in mind, this happened just 8 days after Apex Legends launched.

To say that Apex Legends is a success would be a huge understatement. It only took the game 8 hours to get its first million unique players. By 72 hours old the game had more than 1 million concurrent players and 10 million lifetime players.

Apex Legends happened to come at exactly the right time. We’ve seen that Fortnite has been slowing down the last few months. There hasn’t been much growth month on month and there has been a lot of talk of boredom amongst players. So Apex Legends was a great place for those who weren’t entirely happy with Fortnite anymore. But, there is, of course, the question of if this kind of growth is sustainable or not. It’s all well and good to have 10 million lifetime players in the first week, but what is that number going to look like in a month? Two months? We’ll just have to wait and see.

In fact, since Apex Legends’ Valentine’s Day update which introduced some costly cosmetics, there have been a lot of voices of concern in the player base. Some of the weapon cosmetic items cost $10 which is quite high, too high for many people. Conversations are taking place across Twitter and Reddit expressing concern over the future of the game if cosmetics are going to continue to be so expensive. As a free to play game Apex Legends needs those sales, but they won’t get them if the price is too high. There’s also concern that ultimately Apex Legends is an EA game and EA doesn’t have a fantastic track record when it comes to monetization. For now, we can only hope that they realize the mistake quickly and fix it before it starts to damage the bottom line.

 

Source: Gamasutra, Kotaku

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Battle Royale Weekly: State of the Battle Royale Genre

Every week here in the Battle Royale Weekly column we take a look at the news from just the Battle Royale genre, much of which doesn’t get reported by other games media sites. Currently, our list includes 38 Battle Royale titles that we check every week for anything new to talk about. Last week, however, there were only a few games across the entire genre that had news. That’s…shocking really. What made it even worse was that going through that list we found many of the games hadn’t received an update in months and their populations according to Steam Charts were below 10 players a day. So instead of focusing on the news this week, we thought it was time to take a look at the state of the Battle Royale genre.

Before we get started, let’s address the two big elephants in the room: Fortnite and PUBG. As two of the biggest, most popular games in the entire game industry they stand out from the rest of the genre. Both games are doing very well and are essentially the pillars that are holding up the Battle Royale genre. However, they’re also the reason the rest of the genre is struggling. Fortnite is so big that Netflix sees them as a bigger threat than HBO. Fortnite and PUBG are proving to have amazing brand loyalty and from the looks of it, many players aren’t interested in trying out the competition that is sprouting up online.

So, where is the genre going wrong? Well, to start with many Battle Royale games are buy-to-play, meaning you have to pay for the game once to get access to it. Fortnite, the biggest game in the world, is a free-to-play title. Fortnite makes its money through the in-game store selling dances and cosmetic items. This is something it was able to do because unlike the smaller games in the genre it had the backing of a massive studio that could afford to develop the game and allow it to grow in popularity while not bringing much money in. Many Battle Royale games are indies and have very small budgets to start with. They need that initial push of players buying the game to help them continue the development. Unfortunately, that puts them at a massive disadvantage.

Another place that the genre is going wrong is not having very good PR. For most of that list of 38 games, we have to go to their Steam store page to find any news about them. Many of these games don’t issue press releases and they don’t offer review codes both of which would put their game in the public’s eye and attract more players to it. Instead, they’re relying on being seen on social media, being seen on Steam, and word of mouth. This method quite simply isn’t working. Games that are still in Early Access and still being developed are seeing incredibly low player numbers. This makes future development on the game difficult, especially since as mentioned above, they typically are relying on money they don’t have to finish the development of the game. In fact, their lack of being in the public’s eye is what inspired us to start this column to begin with. There are some really amazing, gorgeous looking games that aren’t getting the attention they need to survive.

While there are some beautiful, fun games in the genre it is lacking in ingenuity. Many of the games have just taken the basic concept of the genre and slapped a different art style or setting on it. That isn’t enough to make the game stand out and it isn’t enough to pull people away from Fortnite, a game that is much more established and always has enough players for a match. That may not be the fault of the developers, rather the restrictions of the genre. There are only so many ways you can combine the idea of the survival game with last man standing gameplay. There are different modes that are being introduced in Battle Royale games, so perhaps not starting with the traditional mode would work for new games.

Many Battle Royale games suffer from developer abandonment issues. When a game’s Steam page hasn’t had a news update in 3 months, it’s very easy for it to look like that game has been abandoned by the developer. Maybe it has, or maybe they’re just hard at work behind the scenes and they’re active on social media or in their Discord. This adds to the perception that the game has been abandoned. It’s also a sad fact that many Battle Royale games HAVE been abandoned by their developers. This can happen for a number of reasons and every time it happens it hurts the genre a little bit more.

Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale

While the MMOGames office is still torn over whether or not there’s room for more games in the Battle Royale genre, there is one thing we agree on: the genre is still in its infancy and 2019 will be the year that either makes or breaks Battle Royale games.

Hopefully next week we’ll be back to having news to report on for the Battle Royale genre that isn’t just Fortnite getting sued by ANOTHER artist (this makes 5 now) or PUBG’s latest update. If you’re interested in trying out a Battle Royale game that isn’t Fortnite or PUBG take a look at our Battle Royale Beta List. It’s filled with the smaller indie Battle Royale games that you won’t see talked about anywhere else. If there’s a Battle Royale game that you love and would like to get the word out about leave a comment below telling us and other readers about it!

The post Battle Royale Weekly: State of the Battle Royale Genre appeared first on MMOGames.com.